Sunday, June 03, 2007

Holtz on Sabellianism

Holtz thinks the heresy of Sabellianism arose from an imperfection in Christ's teaching. On the contrary, the Bible rules out Sabellianism.

Christ is a distinct person from the Father, for the Father says of Christ: "This is My beloved Son" [Mt 3:17] in reference to His person. Thus, contrary to the heresy of the Patripassians, the Persons of the Trinity are really distinct and the Father did not suffer on the Cross, nor is the Father Christ. There are only two processions in God: that of the Son from the Father and that of the Holy Spirit from the Father through the Son. There are real relations in God (four, viz. paternity, filiation, spiration, and procession){1} because the divine processions are in the identity of the same nature{2} so there must be a real opposition, and the very nature of relative opposition includes distinction; so there must be real distinction in God, not according to that which is absolute—the essence wherein there is supreme unity and simplicity—but according to that which is relative.{3}

Notes and References
{1} Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo (Doctor Gratiae), De Trin. i, 1.
{2} Boethius, De Trin. iv.
{3} St. Thomas Aquinas (Doctor Angelicus), ST 1.28.3.

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